first published by Transworld in UK (1997) and Harmony
Books (Crown) in the US (1998), Mendel's Dwarf is Due
to be reissued by Abacus in July 2011.
In the final 10 for the Booker Prize, 1997
A finalist for one of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes for 1999
A New York Public Library "Book to Remember, 1998"
"...[a] furious, tender, and wittily erudite
The New Yorker
Mendel's Dwarf is a compassionate contemplation of
a life that is, in many ways, terribly unfair. This novel takes us
to the brave new world of genetic science through the eyes and heart
of a man who knows that his own particular strain of humanity will
have no place in it.
Behind the walls of a mid-19th-century Austrian monastery,
Gregor Mendel carried out experiments with garden peas that ignited
the modern science of genetics. More than a hundred years later, Dr.
Benedict Lambert, Mendel's great-great-great nephew, is a brilliant
geneticist, and, ironically, a dwarf. The target of his research is
the single gene that caused him.
Inured to the world's sidelong stares and ill-disguised
curiosity, Ben never expected to find anything approaching reciprocated
love -- until he met Jean. Weaving the life of Ben's distant Uncle
Gregor and Ben's own tender, sardonic, unexpectedly erotic story,
Mendel's Dwarf is a novel that questions the meaning of normality
and sounds the depths of passion in a world that is drifting ever
further from the old moral certainties.